About the terminology of alcoholism

Alcoholism is a complex of medical-social problem. The concept of "alcoholism" implies not only medical and biological, but also social content. To date there is no single generally accepted definition of alcoholism. Moreover, there is a certain confusion in the designation of the basic concepts of alcoholism, chronic alcoholism, alcoholism, alcoholism, chronic alcohol intoxication", "alcoholic disease", "alcohol abuse", and so on, which impede a clear diagnostic criteria for identifying patients with alcoholism in the early stages of the disease and the development of preventive measures.
Some authors even consider that alcoholism has no specific clinical and diagnostic criteria, because it is linked, on the one hand, with mental abnormalities and antisocial behavior, and the other - with a variety of somatic and pathophysiological changes. Not by accident in the literature, especially popular, the term " alcohol" means any excessive use of alcoholic beverages.
Different interpretations of alcohol to a certain extent explained by the variety of forms of abuse of alcoholic beverages, in connection with which "it would seem that a precise definition of alcoholism cover only part of the cases, and are not suitable for the establishment of alcoholism among other parties. This leads to the fact that overlook the cases of alcoholism, require active intervention of the public, family, medical personnel" [Century bathhouse attendants M, Korolenko C. P., 1973].
To give a correct interpretation of terms denoting alcohol abuse ("binge drinking", chronic alcoholism, alcoholism, and others), you should consider the evolution . these concepts in historical perspective. The mention about drinking as painful phenomenon is contained in the works of Hippocrates and Galen. However, scientific approach to the clinic alcoholic pathology appeared only at the beginning of the XIX century. In 1804, was one of the first serious works on alcoholism - book English physician Thomas Trotter "About drinking and its effects on the human body", in which for the first time the concept of "binge drinking" is used not in the traditional moral and social (immorality, intemperance, and so on), and biological (illness) sense.
One of the first Russian scientists, who led the most complete description of the clinic alcoholism, was Moscow doctor K. M. Brill-Kramer. In the work "Booze and treatment thereof" (1819), he wrote that due to moral reasons drunkenness in some cases goes into bouts of binge that should be considered as a painful phenomenon, "this evil is based on pathological laws, medical art is not alien, and therefore there's a physical sickness."
In this and other works appeared in the early twentieth century, was, though not clearly formulated the idea of pathological attraction to alcohol as a sign of the transition regular drinking in a painful state. However, the classic definition of chronic alcoholism as the aggregate effects of chronic intoxication appeared in the middle of the XIX century after the publication in 1849 classic work Meters of Huss "Chronic alcoholism, or chronic alcoholic disease." M. Gus considered it a disease caused by alcohol abuse and expressed corresponding changes in the nervous system. This definition is long dominated the pages of textbooks and manuals on psychiatry and for over half a century has not undergone any substantial changes.
So, C. S. Korsakov in the course of psychiatry (1913); writes: "Chronic alcoholism is a set of disorders in the body again, often long-term use of alcoholic drinks". Along with the concept of chronic alcoholism S. S. Korsakov uses the term "binge drinking", considering it not only as the cause of all disorders attributable to chronic alcoholism, but considering, that "in itself drunkenness is in most cases the disease, though very heavy." A. A. Portnov, I. I. Pyatnitskaya (1973) believe that alcoholism as a disease, S. S. Korsakov, there is nothing like "program chronic alcoholism".

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